Good problems to solve

If you’re not on a mission to solve a specific problem, how do you choose the best customer problem for your startup to work on solving?

Alan Jones
4 min readMar 25, 2021
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Update: you can now watch this TV interview on the topics covered in this blog post, interviewed by Simon Thomsen of StartupDaily on his regular startup show on (registration required).

Solve customer problems that arise often, every day

We have to help our customers develop new habits — to use our product/service to solve that problem, rather than their old habitual solution. Habits form more effectively with less time between repetitions.

Another variable in that equation is the real or perceived value created. If the real (or perceived) value created is sufficiently high (eg selling a house for $200k more than the traditional means of sale) then frequency-of-use doesn’t need to be as high. But if you have to choose between solving a high value problem or a high frequency of use problem, you should choose the latter. Habits just form more quickly the more often a new solution is used.

The third variable is to choose problems for which you can add value fast. If your customer has to go through a lengthy onboarding process before they…



Alan Jones

I’m a coach for founders, partner at M8 Ventures, angel investor. Earlier: founder, early Yahoo product manager, tech reporter. Latest: